The tricky thing about Alzheimer’s is the way the disease affects a person’s ability to manage simple daily tasks but does not always impact physical wellness. In other words, your father may still be physically strong; he can walk without difficulty, and his vision and hearing are still good. From the outside, he appears 100% healthy to anyone else who didn’t know he had dementia, yet he has trouble managing self-care, maybe even with the help of a spouse.
Most people want to consider a nursing home or assisted living only when it’s absolutely necessary, when there are no other options, when that daily assistance and skilled medical care is truly needed. However, with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the primary caregiver and concerned family members may need to make a decision sooner. Caregiver burnout is a risk, and if the individual with dementia lives alone, his/her personal safety could be at greater risk as well.
Home care is a good “in-between” option. At some point, the disease may advance to a point when the individual requires total care, but while there is still a level of physical health and ability, a home care provider can assist with bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, household tasks, and other non-medical — but nonetheless essential for daily living — tasks.